Art in Venice

Summer may be over, but with the onset of Fall comes the multitude of art openings, auctions, and art fairs! Ok, ok, there’s really no vacation from the fairs, but Fall really means a renewal of energy for the New York art world.

Europe has already been very busy with Frieze in London and FIAC in Paris, as well as the upcoming Paris Photo. And while most of the artworld was either selling or buying art in Europe in October, I was in Venice checking out the last days of the Art Biennale, which officially ends on November 22nd.

For those who’ve been to Venice but never attended the Biennale, I would recommend a trip- it’s worth going. However, be sure to stay for at least a week, because there is much more to see in Venice than what is in the Giardini and Arsenale (far right in the map).


As there is no grid in Venice, navigating the streets is pretty similar to walking around the Lower East Side or the West Village, but narrower, and with more people bumping into you. That being said, the best thing to do is get lost and take in everything! Below is a selection of photographs from my trip:02015-10-11 15.42.25Perhaps James Turrell was inspired by these Venetian skies?

02015-10-11 13.19.41
Traditional Venetian glass windows
Piazza San Marco in the rain.
Piazza San Marco in the rain.
02015-10-10 19.03.55
Wirths and Wirth Sandwirth…

02015-10-09 14.11.31 02015-10-09 14.11.52

First art stop, Contini Galleria d’Arte:
2015-10-09 19.18.24

In an homage to Igor Mitoraj, who passed away last year in October, Contini is currently presenting extensive exhibition of the Polish artist’s work created throughout his lifetime that coincides during the Biennale. The last day to view the exhibition is November 3oth.

02015-10-09 16.36.37 02015-10-09 16.54.22 02015-10-09 16.55.01 02015-10-09 16.56.40

The gallery continues upward with several floors of fascinating contemporary art, including the work of Enzo Fiore who incorporates roots, dirt, and insects in his art! Had I known about him before, I would’ve included him in my bug post!

02015-10-09 17.03.38

Reminds me of Vik Muniz‘s work.
02015-10-09 17.03.14 02015-10-09 17.05.41 02015-10-09 17.04.54

Just for comparison’s sake, let’s look at Vik Muniz‘s “Mother and Children (Suellen)”:

Mother-and-Children-Suellen02015-10-09 17.03.43

I love the sculptures, very zombie-like. Actually, the ‘zombie’ analogy is not so far from the ideas behind Fiore’s work. Standing in front of his artwork, it is impossible to steer away from thoughts of mortality, decomposition, and how in the end everything returns to nature.

02015-10-09 17.07.56

Speaking of nature:
2015-10-11 11.58.19
Next stop, Palazzo Fortuny,

where there is a great exhibition on Proportions:02015-10-10 12.57.34 02015-10-10 12.48.10

Above is Izhar Patkin‘s work, which I had the good fortune of seeing in his studio in New York before he presented it in Venice. Below is an image of him installing it:

izhar patkin
photo courtesy of the artist

02015-10-10 13.00.14

I love it when I find art that I’ve already written about here. Remember my post about photography from AIPAD? If so, you’ll see why these photographs above are so familiar- they’re by Markus Brunnetti, who photographs Europe’s most famous cathedrals from a frontal perspective.


Next Stop, The Arsenale.

There I had to fly through the 56th International Art Exhibition, titled All The World’s Futures and curated by Okwui Enwezor in about an hour (I’m telling you, I had very little time). It was a little heavy, to tell you the truth. The theme was basically war, and every artist included in the show interpreted it in very different ways. However, with a theme like that, it’s a challenge to be anything but serious:

02015-10-11 10.15.31
Graffiti outside the entrance to the Arsenale.

02015-10-11 10.25.4302015-10-11 10.26.37 02015-10-11 10.27.33 02015-10-11 10.29.442015-10-11 10.30.0502015-10-11 10.45.3602015-10-11 11.04.4602015-10-11 11.08.4802015-10-11 11.15.36 02015-10-11 11.17.28This piece, which is a large grouping of digital portraits reminds me of El Anatsui, who incidentally won the Golden Lion Award for “Lifetime Achievement” at this year’s Biennale!

02015-10-11 11.29.08 02015-10-11 11.31.05 02015-10-11 11.34.0302015-10-11 11.39.30The exit is lined with this artist installation.

02015-10-11 11.53.56
Oh just a regular Communist meeting spot.

02015-10-11 11.55.52

The best time to visit Venice and the Biennale is at the beginning in May, however the crowds may be thinner in November. Nevertheless, I would suggest at least a week to take in everything this city has to offer. Maybe two, because besides the art, there is the architecture, there are the nearby islands to visit like Murano, and there is great shopping!

I will leave you with a few more images of Venice to end with:

2015-10-09 14.40.55 2015-10-11 15.42.48 2015-10-11 15.23.112015-10-11 11.58.19 2015-10-11 18.29.27

Until next time, Venezia…


4 thoughts on “Art in Venice

  1. Great article with pictures to match, artWIRTH! Venice truly is the jewel on the Adriatic. Just one thing — the ratio of tourists to locals in Venice is something like 700 to 1, the highest in the world. This can be incredibly distracting. I was there for the first time last March, which is considered to be the slow season. I had people approaching me constantly near the Academia Bridge — in English — asking me to sign their petitions. Shop owners do not bother to address you in Italian, even if you make an effort. I cannot imagine being there in high season when you have to wait to cross those little bridges. Consequently November strikes me as very good advice to explore this unique art filled destination.


    1. Thanks James! I agree about the masses of tourists- that’s one thing I do not miss. Same with Rome, so many tourists! I haven’t been to Venice for the Biennale over the summer, and I imagine it must be a nightmare getting around. November or late October was probably the perfect time to go.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s